MONROE, N.C. – “I put a post on Facebook because I’m looking for a kidney donor,” says Briannia Faulkerson. We met at her home in Monroe to learn more about her and her search for a kidney donor. WCCB News @ Ten anchor Morgan Fogarty asked her, why Facebook? Her answer was straight to the point. She replied, “Everybody has social media.”
Her post was straight to the point, too. She he wrote in part: “I have been battling kidney disease for three years now… my kidney functioning has just decreased over time.”
Faulkerson cries softly as she explains, “I’m 26 years old. I have three kids. It’s taken so much away from my kids.”
Faulkerson’s rare, stage 5 kidney disease was triggered by a case of strep throat that sent a bacterial infection to her blood stream and then her kidneys. Her doctor, Dr. Todd Griffith of Metrolina Nephrology Associates , explains, “Sometimes we have a patient like Briannia where we have a story and we think, ‘oh that was probably the trigger.’ Many times, we don’t.”
Dr. Griffith says he wasn’t surprised when he heard his patient was looking for a kidney on Facebook. He says, “She’s out there. Thank goodness everyone in the world isn’t as reserved as I am. It would be a much more boring place.”
Faulkerson started dialysis in March. She hooks up to a machine four days a week, three hours at a time. The treatment takes precious time away from her kids, and the disease zaps her energy. She’s determined to get the transplant, even hosting a cornhole tournament where she raised about $1,500.
Griffith says there is a huge organ donor shortage, and calls the people who do it “impressive.” He says, through tears, “I’m amazed by people that do it. It’s compelling. And I’ve never known a donor who came back, even with what I would consider a bad outcome from that, that has said ‘I wouldn’t do it again.’”
While a transplant won’t cure Faulkerson’s kidney disease, she says a new organ would give her a “second chance at life.” She says, “If you’re willing to donate, to help someone, and save their life and give them an opportunity to be here, please really consider it.”
Faulkerson tells WCCB she’s gotten a lot of response to her Facebook post: about 100 people contacted her. But she says a lot of people back out once they learn you have to have been vaccinated against COVID to be an organ donor. If you want to contact her about being a donor, find her on Facebook under Bri Ashley or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.